Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday reached the flood-hit district of Sohbatpur in Balochistan and directed authorities to expedite the process of water drainage from the area and restoration of basic infrastructure.
The directives were issued by the premier during a briefing he received after arriving in the district, where he said relief and rehabilitation activities must be accelerated.
Moreover, the prime minister added that the country had received tents from Turkiye which would be distributed in areas most impacted by flooding in Balochistan.
PM waives electricity bills for August and September for flood victims
The premier, during his visit, announced to waive electricity bills of the flood victims for the months of August and September.
While talking to the media, the premier announced that no electricity bills will be collected for August and September from families impacted by the calamity. He also said the surcharge for those who couldn’t pay the bills for August on time, will also be removed.
PM Shehbaz said that Sohbatpur was immensely impacted by the flood, with the communication system, crops, houses and roads completely destroyed.
He further highlighted that the flooding has led to a massive spread of diseases as well and went on to add that the federal government has allocated Rs70 billion for the victims, while Rs24 billion have been distributed to the flood victims thus far.
Moreover, the prime minister said that he will not tolerate any delay in the relief work of the victims, who are suffering from a number of diseases due to the consumption of contaminated water.
Furthermore, he announced that the chief of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has been directed to collect mineral water from all over Pakistan and distribute it among the victims.
Shehbaz also called for unity on humanitarian grounds and to forgo political motives. “The relief announcements are not a part of politics but to save the state,” he said, adding that in the next phase, the government will start restoration work for bridges, roads as well as crops that were destroyed in the flooding.
On the occasion, Chief Secretary Balochistan Abdul Aziz Uqaili briefed PM Shehbaz regarding the relief and rehabilitation activities being carried out.
The chief secretary said more than 200,000 mosquito nets have been distributed among flood victims in the area.
He added that medical camps have been also been established to ensure the timely provision of medical facilities to those impacted by the catastrophe.
PM thanks Turkiye for flood relief assistance expressed his gratitude to him and the people of Türkiye for extending humanitarian relief assistance to Pakistan.
The relief assistance from Türkiye was in the form of immediate dispatch of tents, emergency food items, and medicines via 12 Turkish military aircraft, four ‘goodness trains’ and two Turkish Red Crescent Trucks.
The prime minister stated that this is in the truest tradition of Pakistan and Türkiye’s exemplary relationship.